LINWOOD — It was a championship season at Mainland Regional High School this weekend when Mustangs returned home with plenty of hardware. Saturday afternoon the boys swim team earned its fourth consecutive state title. Saturday evening it was the Mainland New Jersey Drama and Forensic League squad bringing home an unprecedented eighth consecutive state title.
The NJDFL squad, coached by DJ Abel and Becky Sannino began practice in late September, with the competition beginning in December. The team competed at different host high schools around the state and wrapped up Feb. 23 with the state competition at Raritan High School. Cedar Creek and Absegami high school students also competed. Mainland hosted the competition Feb. 9 for the first time.
Not only did Mainland come home again with the Looby Cup and first place, several members of the team garnered state champion status in their categories. The categories students competed in either as individuals, duets or teams of six included dramatic monologue, comedic pairs, persuasive speaking, dramatic oral interpretation, readers theater, improv pairs, impromptu speaking, humorous oral interpretation, musical scene, dramatic pairs, comedic monologue and after-dinner speaking.
Matt Lischin took first place honors and was named state champion in persuasive speaking. The readers theater first place finishers and state champions were the team of Marlisa Bongiovanni, Megan Castellane, Sydney Freihofer, Coral Pierce and Gianna Robinson. Tori Mozitis took first place in humorous oral interpretation and earned state champion honors. Matt Lischin and Marlisa Bongiovanni brought home the state title in dramatic pairs. Coral Pierce is the state champion in comedic monologue. Rachel Lischin earned first place and the state championship in after-dinner speaking. And if all those kudos were not enough, Mainland’s Gianna Robinson earned the coveted MVP award.
Mainland’s NJDFL team has been the proud owner of the Looby Cup, NJDFL’s top prize since 2012. Each year at the finals, the prior years winner brings the cup to pass it on to the next champion. Mainland had no plans to give it up and have returned home with the cup each year, where it will spend another 12 months in the display case.
The team will be honored at a future Mainland Board of Education meeting.